Cardiac surgery is frequently complicated by neurological events due to migration of emboli after manipulation of the ascending aorta (AA). Timely visualization of atherosclerosis of the AA enables the surgeon to consider changes of the surgical plan. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) is a widely used imaging method permitting evaluation of the aorta preoperatively, but assessment of the distal AA is hampered by interposition of the air-filled trachea between oesophagus and AA. The A-View® (Aortic-view) method, a modification of conventional TOE using a fluid-filled balloon, overcomes this limitation.
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